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NCAA tournament preview: Ranking the Sweet 16 games

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The NCAA tournament regains momentum when the south region takes center stage on CBS. There’s great anticipation for each and every game with multiple storylines, so it was only right to rank the games in order.

Here we are ranking the Sweet 16 teams.

All four No.4 seeds made it to the sweet 16 and the only No. 1 seed to lose, Wichita State, faced a Kentucky team that’s ready to take on instate rival, Louisville. The last two national champions should be part of a historic clash on Friday.

Although both teams played earlier in the season, the Sweet 16 contest should be played at a higher level. Whether the outcome will be different remains to be seen, but there’s no questions all eyes will be glued to that contest.

Another game that is garnering a lot of attention is the Baylor and Wisconsin showdown. It was clear early on that Baylor has the capability to run the table. However, their size and shooting prowess has reached a new level. The Badgers have been the best second half team in the tournament so far. Still, they need to play a strong first half in the Sweet 16.

Here are the best games of the Sweet 16.

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1. Kentucky vs Louisville- Midwest region
1. Kentucky vs Louisville- Midwest region Getty Images

1. Kentucky vs Louisville- Midwest region

Both teams were under seeded, yet they found ways to win after being challenged in the second half of each game.  Now an elite 8 berth is on the line.  Can the size of Kentucky match the pressure from Louisville’s defense.

2. Virginia vs. Michigan State- East Region
2. Virginia vs. Michigan State- East Region Getty Images

2. Virginia vs. Michigan State- East Region

Once the brackets were released, many people were looking forward to another ACC vs. Big 10 showdown.  Virginia’s defense can stifle opposing offenses.  The tempo in this game will be key.

3. Baylor vs. Wisconsin- West region
3. Baylor vs. Wisconsin- West region Getty Images

3. Baylor vs. Wisconsin- West region

Baylor ran past Creighton in a game that took four minutes to realize who would win.  Wisconsin can go on scoring spurts to knock teams out in a hurry.  Pay attention to the Baylor zone defense.

4. Florida vs. UCLA- South Region
4. Florida vs. UCLA- South Region Getty Images

4. Florida vs. UCLA- South Region

UCLA has been scoring at a high rate also.  Florida’s defense will press and try to force turnovers.  Hopefully this can be an up tempo game with lots of action.  The Gatos have been to three straight elite 8’s.

5. Arizona vs San Diego State- West region
5. Arizona vs San Diego State- West region Getty Images

5. Arizona vs San Diego State- West region

The Wildcats beat San Diego State by nine in the beginning of the season.  Now they’ll play for west coast supremacy and a spot in the elite 8.  This should be a defensive battle that has lots of rebounds.

6. Iowa State vs. UCONN- East region
6. Iowa State vs. UCONN- East region Getty Images

6. Iowa State vs. UCONN- East region

Unfortunately, Georges Niang won’t be available to play.  Otherwise, this might be the best game of the round.  The Cyclones will use a very small lineup to shoot the long ball.  UCONN will have the home court advantage in Madison Square Garden.

7. Tennessee vs Michigan- Midwest region
7. Tennessee vs Michigan- Midwest region Getty Images

7. Tennessee vs Michigan- Midwest region

Nobody thought Tennessee would be in this position, but they have a legit shot at beating Michigan.  The Wolverines shoot the ball with the best of them.  They’ll have to rebound and force tempo against the Vols.

8. Dayton vs Stanford- South Region
8. Dayton vs Stanford- South Region Getty Images

8. Dayton vs Stanford- South Region

Both teams have played great in garnering two upsets.  Now they are in a battle to joint elite company.  As double digit seeds, this is the first game of the sweet 16.  They’ll start the party right.

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